WIthout having the paper, I've been listening a little more to local radio.
I heard (partially listening as I was looking for an address at the time) two stories that Bob Lonsberry was talking about (about a week and a half ago).
One was about a fraternity who painted a rock that sits alongside 390 -the rock had had a tribute to a fallen soldier painted on it, and the fraternity allegedly painted their letters over it I believe. The other was some small town where a man passed away- the man had been active in the community- had been a fire fighter, etc. To mark his passing, the fire department put a big American flag on the fire truck and drove by his house to the cemetery.
First, an aside- in college I was in a fraternity. I had the idea (that was voted down by others) to get some paint in the colors of a rival fraternity and paint their letters on a few landmarks around campus (yes, I know that would be defacing private property, etc. I wasn't as well thought out at the time).
Second story first, I found the story of the fire truck disgusting. And I'm not trying to be a contrarian; I just don't think there's any place for wasting taxpayer dollars (the gas and wear/tear on the truck at the least) on a tribute to a private citizen. What if I live next to the fire house and my house catches on fire while they're fooling around? Will I sit in the smoldering rubble and say 'oh well...at least they had a good reason for shirking their responsibility'?
As to the rock, I have a question- is it on public or private land? If on private land, and the fraternity did not receive permission to paint it, they deserve to have the book thrown at them. If however this is on public land, then they did nothing worse than what those who painted the tribute in the first place did. As far as I know, there's no place to sign up and 'officially' paint that rock (as it has been painted hundreds of times through the years- I know as I've driven by it for nearly twenty-five years). Thus the fraternity defaced public property, and should have the same charges levied against them as the original painters. Was the decision a poor one by the frat? Yes...gee...drunken college kids don't make the wisest decisions- who woulda thunk it (at least they end up being responsible members of society- wtih important jobs at the GSA and Secret Service...).
Certain I'm going to get a lot of grief for this column, but fair is fair. Take emotions out of it, and just look at the facts.
-Zjabs (Rochester's Official Columnist)
© 2012 Zjabs - 4/29/12